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  1. #1

    QUESTIONS FOR HASBRO - round 77

    Please post your VOTE for up to 6 {six} of the questions provided in this thread, letting us know which ones you most want to see asked on December 4th. Keep in mind that your votes in round 76 do not count in this round, so if your question is still on the list you may want to vote for it again.

    Also, feel free to post new questions. For reference, here are Hasbro's answers to previous SSG questions; and from other sites. The questions we asked last round can be found here.

    Current questions (vote for up to 6):

    1. - In a recent Q&A, you mentioned that "[Hasbro] will continue working with Sideshow on their 12" figure program." As we know, Sideshow sub-licenses their 12" Star Wars through Hasbro's Star Wars license, but the intricacies of this relationship are not fully understood. With your recent comment above, collectors are ever more curious as to how exactly Hasbro and Sideshow work together on that 12" figure line. What types of input and interaction does Hasbro have into the Star Wars items that Sideshow produces?
    2. - Beyond Star Wars, many other franchises have tried their hand at Titanium Series - Battlestar Galactica, Indiana Jones, Marvel, Transformers, even Stargate was floated as being in some level of planning - yet they all eventually faded away from Titanium Series' light. What lessons has the Titanium Series team taken away from those other licenses' lines and their passings? For example, how did the Stargate line not come to be? Or you put off the wave with the BSG Basestar and couldn't find a slot for this new tooling before the license ran out, yet you released a Starbuck repaint of the Viper mk 2 at theproverbial 11th hour (and didn't hit shelves until the 13th hour), an unusual distinction which fans don't really understand, and could use more behind-the-scenes insight into - why didn't that Basestar tooling get shoehorned into a later wave before the license with Universal ran out? Why release a repaint vehicle that won't satisfy fans as much, rather than an all-new mold which fans have been clamoring for?
    3. - What was the decision making process behind creating a Jabba the Hutt animated figure instead of a Ziro the Hutt figure? Ziro has appeared in the Clone Wars series more than Jabba so far, and his animated behavior fits the Clone Wars animated series better than Jabba. Was it merely the character recognizability of Jabba, or the fact that you had existing accessories for him, or was the idea of an evil Truman Capote Hutt just too out-there for ya?
    4. - Mace Windu has been represented in action figure form for 11 years now, and a large portion of those figures were released with some unique, non-standard aspect. Mace has been the first "sneak peek" and a mail-away in the modern line, the first hard-shell "choco" robe, AOTC had a deluxe before basic which has a smiling face and a second figure, AOTC basic had the screaming face, 2003 AOTC basic had the "ultimate lightsaber control" stick gimmick, ROTS had the Force Lightning throw-off gimmick, and now the Clone Wars version with removable armor and saber-swinging waist. While there have been a few normal Mace figures, and even a super-articulated one finally, it seems as if Mace Windu has been tapped by Hasbro to be the sculpting and gimmick guinea pig. Is this pattern intentional, do you think he can't sell without these sorts of things, is it just happenstance, or does someone there subliminally not realize they keep picking Mace to be the test guy?
    5. - In this year's SDCC slideshow presentation, you previewed the first Knights of the Old Republic comic-pack, which features Rohlan Dyre and Jarael. Why though is the series main protagonist Zayne not included in the first KOTOR pack? Any chance we will be seeing him released soon after that pack, or at least at some point?
    6. - In The Force Unleashed, Admiral Ozzik Sturn piloted an AT-KT (All Terrain Kashyyyk Transport) in a boss battle against our hero and the enslaved Wookiees. The AT-KT is merely a heavier-armed version of the AT-ST. Now that we have a new AT-ST coming out, might Hasbro be willing to do a modified version for the AT-KT as well?
    7. - On the new red & white cards for Legacy Collection, the character photos in the upper corner are rather bizarre works this time around and lead to several questions. Why are so many of the characters holding their weapons near their faces for the images? Some sabers and guns make sense, but other accessories look odd like on the Gungan Warrior card. A few are out of scale, like Slave Leia's vibro-staff. And why are some characters using images from other movies, like Sidious Hologram using a picture from ROTJ, or Luke Jedi using an ANH likeness, or Romba altered to sub for Paploo? And what is with the "artist's interpretation" image for Malakili that looks like an oil painting? While these might seem like minor nitpicks, after a few years of quality card character art, these really stand out and take the line back a few steps. Doesn't the line deserve better?
    8. - Has there been any thought to creating a repaint of Clone Wars C-3PO in his "Droids" cartoon coloring? This mold is already fairly cartoony in design and realization. It would make a nifty collectible for fans of the classic cartoon, yet also could work for new collectors unfamiliar with the series as an alternate protocol droid with a unique color scheme. Any chance of seeing this happen from Hasbro, or would it have to show up in the new cartoon first to even be considered?
    9. - The Clone Wars line has been a boon for its droid designs, but is following suit from the realistic lines with the sagging leg problems. This is especially noticeable on Clone Wars Battle Droids and General Grievous. Yet in the same line, IG-86 and the Commando Droid don't suffer this, the difference being that they have ankle joints while the BD and Grievous figures do not. It seems like the joints take stress off the thin leg elements helping cope with wilting issues, and that's a pretty big deal. Obviously including either knee or ankle articulation on them isn't a cheap undertaking, but it seems like a necessary one in the scheme of things since if a figure can't stand up, it's going to be far less fun. Any possibility of including one type of lower leg articulation or another on future versions of these figures as this partial solution to this long-time problem?
    10. - One of your answers in the September 10th round mentioned that R2-X2 is a corrected version of the droid that came in the Entertainment Earth Exclusive set. Another figure in one of those sets, R3-T2, was also painted incorrectly in comparison to its onscreen counterpart. The version you released had a white dome with a metallic brown stripe, while it should have a red dome with white panels. Are there any plans to release a corrected version of R3-T2 down the line?
    11. - Have you considered sealing magnets into figures' feet and including metal stands to avoid the numerous problems that have come up with footpeg holes over the years? Kotobukiya is doing that with their new ARTFX+ line of statue kits to great success, and although 3.75" figures are a smaller medium, magnetic feet would go well with your action figure line with all its challenges keeping figures standing.
    12. - We've now seen Hasbro imagery of deluxe Anakin with Desert Sport Skiff, and us old-fogey collectors who have been around since 1996 are quite surprised to see that accessory's return. It wasn't exactly popular back in the day, its styling wasn't that Star Warsy, and its wobbly guns didn't help much, yet now we have it back for a whole new generation of Star Wars collectors. The other 1996 deluxe releases - Crowd Control Stormtrooper, Han Solo with Flight Pack, and Boba Fett with Mega Jetpack of Doom - weren't exactly crowd-pleasers either, but will we be seeing any of them re-released? Though the idea of a small vehicle for Anakin makes sense, re-releasing this piece seems like such an odd choice. Could you guide us through the thought process on this one? Did the failure of the original influence the decision at all?
    13. - With the new deluxe vehicle assortment consistent of the ARC-170 repaint and the Clone Wars Y-wing, there seems to be a focus on raising prices in the line across the board, though that scale's jump from $30 to $60+ is especially noteworthy. Basic figures are $8 or more now, comic packs have gone up $4, battle packs and vehicles are going up around $5, deluxe figure & vehicle packs are a pricey $17, the last dribs and drabs of Titanium Series are over $8, Force FX sabers have gone up $20, and exclusives pricing is all over the map. Clearly, the economic turmoil over the last few years has hit the Hasbro Star Wars brand exceptionally hard, but don't these prices seem harder and harder to justify for both hardcore and casual collectors? We know you are trying to do your best to keep the line alive, but right now collectors are very concerned about the brand's future, and see the price-hikes as the culprit to its possible downfall. Raising prices is a downward spiral. Isn't there some way to better split the costs hikes between customers and profit margins, before there are virtually no customers left to eke profit margins out of, and the line folds?
    14. - With the Wedge Antilles X-wing Fighter set, you have a great-looking boxed set there, but it's marred by one odd choice: the nifty kill-marks are printed on white paper stickers rather than clear transparent ones, which look terrible on the ship. Why go with the white-backed stickers over the transparent ones? If this was a factory error, and we're hoping it is, will there be a reissued set of stickers on clear backing?
    15. - On the latest TIE Interceptor's packaging, the box art on the front has a highly-detailed ship which is not actually representing the toy, the back of the box imagery does that. However, while the new cockpit pod is a great improvement, that art highlights the wings being the same existing designs we've had for the last 3 decades, and their size and lack of detail really shows compared to the new pod. Granted, you've just released a TIE Interceptor so it's not like we're going to see new wings next week. But hypothetically, how far in the future might fans have to wait to get a set of updated TIE Interceptor wings to match the quality of the new pod?
    16. - The new dewback looks to be a pretty nifty item, however, its appearance has some fans scratching their heads. The fact that it's packed with a sandtrooper and the appropriate riding gear would lead one to believe that this is supposed to be from A New Hope. Yet its green skin and smaller, more pointed face would seem to indicate The Phantom Menace as its source; and it even looks like it took some inspiration from the vintage version. It's been suggested that this is now LFL's "official" look for the beast, but this set is supposed to represent what's in ANH which this doesn't seem to be. What was the thinking behind designing this piece in such a way, why wasn't a more true-to-ANH look adopted?
    17. - Recently, you gave an answer about Malakili and Willrow Hood that they were to be released in the same quantity, "the lowest of the fall releases, 30% lower than the lowest-run figures from 2005 until Spring 2008". We know Hasbro policy is to not talk hard numbers, but could you give us percentages on those types of "hardcore collector-interest" figures against the most popular and thus heaviest run figures in Legacy, as well as Saga Legends, and even Clone Wars? And heck, while we're at it, how much higher than the Malakili floor was Yarna's run? We hardcore collector types are always curious about how much risk the brand takes on our limited-interest figures vs. more mainstream entries, and it'd be helpful to inform us why it's more complex to run the line than some collectors' arguments of "just make that guy and everybody will buy it".
    18. - With the 2008 Medical Frigate Luke figure, the figure almost fits the bill for Echo Base recovery scene Luke, if not for the open mechanical arm, and the different likeness with scars and Hoth hairstyle. That scene also has 2 other characters whose figures are in dire need of updating: Leia Hoth, and 2-1B, both of which haven't seen new figure designs in over a decade. With a Recovery Luke figure, it'd just be a new head required (the body and undamaged forearm tooling already exists from the VOTC figure) so you could also include the mask he wore in that scene's less-infamous cut footage (we're not asking you to make kissing Luke & Leia, you'll have to decide if you're twisted enough to go there ;-) ). So, any chances of knocking the Echo Base Recovery scene out of the park by making new 2-1B, Leia Hoth, and Luke recovery figures?
    19. - In a recent answer, Hasbro stated that there won't be an ANH wave in 2010, the next one being the beginning of 2011. Does that mean there won't be any new Cantina figures released in '10, or is it possible we might see 1 or 2 in a battle pack, a comic pack, an exclusive, or perhaps even another venue? If the answer is "no", is a Cantina figure planned for that early '11 basic figure wave, and if so, who?
    20. - For the upcoming The Force Unleashed multi-packs made from the canceled wave and some updates, we now have a store (Toys R Us) and the number of figures (2 5-packs), and a general timeframe (Spring 2010). Any chance we could get images of these sets? If not, how about at least a rundown of what figures will be in each? And finally, what pricepoint are these expected to be hitting?
    21. - In the current Fans Choice final 30 ToyFare poll, there are several figures that have been mentioned by Hasbro to be figures they would like to do anyway. Without asking about too many specifics, could you tell us how many are already in some stage of production? How many of those finalists may be released in 2010 or 2011 alongside the winner? Were any finalists in some level of planning or production before the fan site lists came in?
    22. - In the November Q&A, Hasbro revealed that the latest Droid Factory 2-packs have not performed to expectations and the future planned sequel wave was canceled, with some sets possibly finding their way into other, future sets. With Wal-mart's spotty distribution on these - some stores getting none while others clearanced them for $5 soon after release - and Wal-mart not making them available online, is there any chance that the sequel wave could switch retailers to become another chain's line, or perhaps a shared online exclusive? And if it's not too bold, it sounds like plans were made, so what was the next Droid Factory wave going to be?
    23. - Are you aware that the eyes on the new Bespin guard and Willrow Hood are painted red? That has come up before with some unmasked Clone Trooper figures, but these are the first non-clone characters we can remember that have red irises. Is that a mistake or intentional? If it is a mistake, will it be addressed? If it was intentional, why was such an odd choice made?

    Vote now, and suggest new questions too. Thanks for participating!

  2. #2
    Can we ask them this:

    How many of the 30 finalists in the current toyfare poll are already in some stage of production? Without offering any specifics, could you tell us how many may be out next year, or in 2011 alongside the winner?

    and so far my votes are: 3, 16, 17, 18, 19 plus mine if you add it.
    Most wanted "bottom-of-the-barrel scrapes": ANH: Kal'Falnl C'ndros, Revwien (concept art), Tzizvvt ESB: Wiorkettle, Treva Horme ROTJ: Cane Adiss, Loje Nella TPM: Edcel Bar Gane AOTC: Rogwa Wodrata ROTS: Mon Calamari Dancer, Veedaaz Awmetth, Eeusu Estornii EU: Guri (red outfit), Ket Maliss

  3. #3
    [FONT=Courier New]My votes: 4, 6, 11, and 13.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New]I will reserve my last 2 votes in case a new question pops up that I would like to throw my support behind.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New][/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]Thank you![/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]"First of all, never bad mouth synergy..."[/FONT]

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cane_Adiss View Post
    Can we ask them this:

    How many of the 30 finalists in the current toyfare poll are already in some stage of production? Without offering any specifics, could you tell us how many may be out next year, or in 2011 alongside the winner?

    and so far my votes are: 3, 16, 17, 18, 19 plus mine if you add it.
    I suppose if you guys can accept the risk that it may go down in major flames if they have an exclusive agreement with ToyFare magazine for hosting it, a very likely possibility. If you can, then I will add.


    BTW, answers from round 75 were due today but Hasbro needs until Monday to organize them this time around.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #6
    I have a question about a cloud car vehicle from ESB with a exclusive figure of a cloud car pilot (http://www.rebelscum.com/OTC19cloudcarpilot.asp). I know it has been answered awile back. I cloud car with figure is possible in the future, maybe as an Wal Mart, Target or TRU exclusive?

    We've seen a new Han Solo figure wearing a stormtrooper belt comes with a helmet and armor vest.

    Will we see Luke Skywalker figure stormtrooper belt with helmet and armor, will there be a Falcon turret gunner Luke figure based on ANH?
    All the characters from the Star Wars films needs to be made into figures especially Luke Snowspeeder pilot (new head without cap), Wedge Snowspeeder pilot and the rest of the X-Wings, Snowspeeders, Y-Wings and B-Wings pilots! Biggs Darklighter as X-Wing, all the Jedis and all the Skiff and Sail Barge Guards all needed improvement and movie accurate!

  7. #7
    I vote for 19 too!
    All the characters from the Star Wars films needs to be made into figures especially Luke Snowspeeder pilot (new head without cap), Wedge Snowspeeder pilot and the rest of the X-Wings, Snowspeeders, Y-Wings and B-Wings pilots! Biggs Darklighter as X-Wing, all the Jedis and all the Skiff and Sail Barge Guards all needed improvement and movie accurate!

  8. #8
    In the 11/16 Q&A session, Hasbro said that "Unfortunately, the Droid Factory 2-packs have not performed to expectations, and the future sequel that was planned for this has been cancelled. It is possible that some of the selections from this set will find their way into future packs. "
    Because the distribution was poor on these sets, some Walmarts not getting any, and others clearancing them out for $5 or less when they were first released, and Walmart not making them available online, is there any way they could become an exclusive to Entertainment Earth, Previews, Toys R Us, or Target?
    Also, did Hasbro or Walmart make the decision to not put the Droid Factory 2 figure sets on the Walmart website? That likely hurt their sales.

  9. #9
    I'm working on the wording here, so, if it's usable, feel free to make it more "civil":

    "Over the past few years, the Star Wars line has seen price increases across the board. While these are understandable, and increases have affected other toy lines from Hasbro and other manufacturers, have you considered that the decline in sales of some Star Wars toys is not due to a lack of interest, or simply the price increase, but of the perceived value of these toys not equalling the new MSRPs? For instance, the MSRP of comic packs increase from $10 to $13, an increase of almost 1/3, meaning three comic packs now cost what four would have cost a year ago. However, among the recent offerings have been two packs including Luke Skywalker and Deena Shan, a relatively minor character. Another had a new Princess Leia, along with Xizor, who, while a marked improvement over the original(s), was released twice in 1996 and didn't completely sell out for a few years. And others are straight re-releases of sets that cost $10 a year ago. With basic figures, the increase has been a full 50%; regardless of anyone's love for Han Solo (for example), sculpt improvement, desire to have a complete set, or the pack-in droid parts, yet another ANH Han (this time with a Stormtrooper helmet) at a 50% markup is a hard sell for some collectors who've been collecting for years."

    It's pretty wordy as-is, and I'm not sure how exactly to get to the point (could you put more value in your figures and character choices that you know aren't geared toward kids?).

    Also, this one came to me while I was working on the first:

    Collectors who buy both Star Wars and GIJoe figures can't help but notice a major difference in the pricing on store exclusives. Simply, GIJoe store exclusives (of both the Rise of Cobra line and the 25th Anniversary line before it) are roughly equal to or less than the likely equivalent MSRP of the included items were they not store exclusives (examples being the Wal-Mart environment playsets, $15 for two figures that normally sell for $7.50 each and a mini-playset; the Target mini-vehicles, $10 for a figure and a small vehicle; and the Toys R Us Attack on the Pit, $25 for five figures and a vehicle), while the Star Wars exclusives seem to usually be more costly than the equivalent value of the items (the Target Ultimate BattlePacks being the exception to the rule). Is this affected in any way by Hasbro, or is this decision made solely by the retailers?
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  10. #10
    Here's one, dunno about it, though:

    *Since we just got a new slave Leia and you confirmed a new Jabba for next year, does this increase the chances of a new Salacious Crumb? The previous three were spiffy in their own ways, but none of them can really sit like the monkey-lizard does in the film and, given that Leia is finally able to recline, a similar Crumb would be nice. If a new one is planned, how will he come out - with Jabba, with a different character, or what?

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